Ted Leonsis Rumors
Whatever his fate is, he’ll be a first ballot Hall of Famer. I hope he comes back. His deal is, he can say ‘I want to come back,’ and he would be welcomed with open arms. He might say ‘I don’t want to come back, I want to negotiate,’ and we would do that. He might say I want to go somewhere else. He’s earned that. “And we love Paul Pierce,” Leonsis said. “He knows where he stands in our desires. But it’s up to him now, and there’s probably no one in the NBA right now in that part of their career that’s earned that freedom to do what he thinks is best for he and his family.”: 15 more rumors
Ted Leonsis: “Paul Pierce is a Hall-of-Fame player, and he brought so much to the Wizards this year – on the court as well as off. When people struggle to describe the “It Factor,” all they need to do is look at Paul. He was an incredibly valuable piece to our puzzle this year, and he expressed to us what a positive experience he had with our team, organization and city. I hope he has a desire to return to the Wizards next season and continue to build upon what he started.”
Ted Leonsis’s desire to have a standalone practice facility built for his Washington Wizards is no secret. The Wizards owner has been on the record since the end of 2013 stating his intentions and though he still doesn’t know where exactly the facility will be located, he expects to know by the end of the summer. “I’m hoping by the end of the offseason to make an announcement that says this is the place that we’re going to build it and how long it will take,” Leonsis said Monday at Verizon Center after watching the Mystics and Minnesota Lynx take part in an experimental analytics scrimmage.
Grant Paulsen then wondered if Leonsis would text or call Wall to find out how the injury was healing. “No, I would never do that,” Leonsis said. “I think that would be inappropriate. He’s probably got enough pressure on himself. And to be straightforward, we’ve got to do what’s in the best interest of the player in this case, so you don’t want to do anything that would jeopardize his health in any way. And he’s such a competitive player, he’ll want to play. And it’ll be up to him and people around him and us to make sure that he doesn’t do anything that would hurt himself, because he’s going to have a really, really long career here.”
In a post that spans three entirely different topics in just six paragraphs, Theodore takes aim at WJFK-FM personality Chad Dukes, adding armchair radio program director to his already impressive resume as a sports franchise owner. It seems this has been bothering him all weekend. “On Friday, in drive time rush hour radio, from 500 pm to 600 pm, on 107.6 FM, the conversation wasn’t about the Wizards upcoming game, it was about bacon and potato casserole recipes, and favorite Seinfeld episodes. Is there any other market in America that sports talk radio converses about Seinfeld in drive time on the night of an NBA playoff game? Or the night before a big away Caps playoff game? Perhaps this is why Wizards and Caps fans don’t tune in? These kids today.” — Ted Leonsis, via http://tedstake.monumentalnetwork.com
Leonsis was asked: Would you be in favor of legalizing sports betting? His response: “First of all, I respect our commissioner. I love Adam Silver I think he’s doing a great job. And I think he is spot on. I think we’re living in this real-time technical trading world, and that there’s so much betting that goes on, I think this first iteration that we’re seeing with the Draft Kings kind of phenomenon, and this daily interactive gaming. But, it makes sense. You’re going to have wallets on your phone, people now are going to start to make wagers on, in a real time way, ‘I think he’s going to make a pass, instead of take the shot,’ and you’ll be able to instantly move money back and forth, so it’s better to get in front of it. and the consumer is going to do what the consumer is going to do. We have to make sure that it’s managed in the right way. But I do think it was smart to get in front of it, and not bury your head in the sand and say it’s not going to happen.”
The link to the campaign’s landing page is still up, as is the picture of Leonsis and King on their Facebook page.
A Monumental Sports spokesman apologized for the photos when reached by SB Nation: “Throughout Black History Month we ran an “Inspire” campaign. We asked a variety of Wizards, Capitals and Mystics players and staff to share who inspired them. We asked them for a favorite quotation and then created a composite image that was half the player/staff member and half the person they admired. We released one composite image a day throughout February in an attempt to honor those whom our staff had identified as heroes. We intended this as a way to celebrate Black History Month and focus on the many important contributions by African-Americans to American history and culture. On a personal level, it was a way to share thoughts on African-American historical figures whom we admire. We may have missed the mark, and we apologize to those who were offended by the way this was presented.”
They asked different people within the group — staff members, players, coaches and even owner Ted Leonsis and mascot G-Wiz — to share a quote from an African American pioneer they admired. They put that quote alongside one of their own in composite images released on this page and their social media channels. A couple of them … looked a little out of touch. Like this one of Leonsis and Martin Luther King Jr. And this one of mascot G-Wiz and Benjamin D. Davis Jr.
We have lost three games in a row, one blow out and two games that were quite winnable, on the road. We need to get back to hitting the boards, playing suffocating team defense and to running the floor. We can’t allow teams to score more than 100 points on us. We are settling for too many jump shots by our big men, and at games end, we aren’t running an offense and getting to the charity stripe enough. The spacing on the floor hasn’t been good at games end of late either.
Ted Leonsis: Just like the process for the Capitals, we are prepared to investigate potential locations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. We are keeping our options open, considering the facility as a practice location for the WNBA’s Mystics and possibly the home to a NBA Development League team. At this point I believe all of our Capitals players live in Virginia – we’ve even had players and coaches live close enough to walk to the training facility – and they along with our staff enjoy the Arlington area. They eat, shop, ride Metro and take advantage of all the great opportunities in the vicinity of Kettler. And the local area has seen tremendous growth in recent years. The Ballston Common Mall, where Kettler Capitals Iceplex is located, is undergoing a redevelopment with plans for a residential tower, street-facing retail shops and restaurants and a pedestrian plaza.
Ted Leonsis: It is true that we would like to build a practice facility that is world class for the Washington Wizards. I was on record saying that in 2013. While this concept may be new to Washington, many NBA teams have done just that of late. I believe as many as 18 teams have – or will have in the near future – a standalone practice facility. At Verizon Center we currently have only one practice court, no space for seating (we can’t adequately open it up to public) and a shared weight room, and the court was marginal at best when it was constructed 17 years ago. We need a fully developed training and conditioning space that meets the needs to today’s athletes. We have done something similar in Arlington, where Kettler Capitals Iceplex opened in 2006 and serves as a first-rate training facility for the Capitals and popular resource for the Ballston community. It is analogous to what we would like to do for the Wizards and the community where the training facility eventually will be located.
Wizards owner Ted Leonsis has previously said the Wizards were not making money; he told Washington Business Journal in November that annual losses were well into the seven figures. Tuesday, ESPN 980’s Scott Jackson asked Leonsis about the Grantland report. “You know, I was really disappointed that a league document that just went to all of the owners somehow got into the hands of the media, but sometimes that’s to be expected,” Leonsis said. “And I’ve been pretty straightforward that the team was not profitable and was losing money, and that basically we knew that going in and we would continue to invest. And I believe, just like the Caps, if the team can perennially make the playoffs and we’ll get to a sellout situation, and our ratings will increase and then we’ll be able to get a better TV deal, the financial side of things will take care of itself.
“But short term there are losses, yeah,” Leonsis said “The situation is real. Those are audited numbers. That’s what the league sends to all of the owners now in how the league is doing. It’s something we have to work on. But I’m more focused on making the team better and making those investments than I am on ‘Are we making money or losing money.’ ”
“And I really didn’t say what they thought I was saying,” he went on. “You know, the game was on ESPN. I was saying ‘Bill Simmons,’ that’s what I was saying. I saw him sitting right across from me. In basketball, especially the playoffs, there’s nothing more exciting than playoff basketball, playoff hockey. And so emotions fly high, and you maybe say some things that you don’t mean, but it’s all a matter of the intensity and how hard and how much you want to win for your fans.”
“Randy’s leadership and preparation allowed him to implement and build an unselfish team mentality over the last several seasons where defense comes first and every player is held accountable,” said Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis. “The result is a Washington Wizards team that proudly represents our fans and our city both on and off the court and has us looking eagerly toward what we can accomplish moving forward.”
Ted Leonsis joined Scott Jackson and Brian Mitchell on ESPN 980′s “Inside the Locker Room” Monday afternoon and was asked about the the potential scheduling conflict between Game 6 (if necessary) on May 15 and the Lady Gaga concert scheduled at Verizon Center the same night. “I’m wearing my meat suit,” Leonsis joked, referencing the outfit Lady Gaga wore to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. “I’m going to wear my meat suit in homage to Lady Gaga just as I did when I wore the Nene jersey. Free Lady Gaga.”
Ted Leonsis: As I have stated, there should be zero tolerance for hatemongering. Hate speech demonstrates an ignorance that is unacceptable, and I implore all of us to help eliminate any form of discrimination. I have full confidence that Commissioner Silver will conduct a thorough investigation and act accordingly upon his findings.
Ted Leonsis, who became the majority owner in June 2010, told Grunfeld to rebuild the team through the draft, a goal that Leonsis knew would take time to achieve. Time is not an especially valued commodity in professional sports, but Leonsis was committed to using some. “From Day 1, he said, ‘This is what we’re going to do, and it’s going to be painful at first,’ ” Grunfeld recalled. “ ‘But we’ll see the results as we move forward.’ And I think we’re starting to see it now. It’s still a process. We still have things we want to accomplish. But we feel like we have a very solid core.”
Coach Randy Wittman appears to be on the verge of guiding the Washington Wizards to the playoffs. And if the Wizards get there for the first time in six seasons, Wittman undoubtedly will receive praise. He’d rather receive a new contract. Wittman’s current one expires after the season. Although qualifying for the postseason would be a significant accomplishment for the franchise — especially considering the Wizards’ recent history — owner Ted Leonsis expects the Wizards to be a playoff team. Leonsis has set the bar high, and Wittman realizes he must clear it.
Ted Leonsis has talked quite a bit about why his organization created the all-digital Monumental Network, and what that will mean for the Wizards’ and Capitals’ TV rights in the future. But that remains among the most important local sports business stories going, and every time he talks he adds a few details. Thus, here is Leonsis talking about the issue during a recent appearance at the University of Maryland’s Phillip Merrill College of Journalism and the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism. For his thoughts on dealing with official media partners, see here.
“We have staff working all day today to make sure this issue doesn’t occur again. Our staff worked very efficiently to identify where the leaks were. And we always have staff on hand that are experienced with issues such as this. We also literally had to get atop of the roof outside to see what the issues were. The big freeze this past week might have created a small fissure in roofing materials, and as the rain came on and some ice was melting, some water was able to seep in,”Ted Leonsis wrote on his personal blog.
It doesn’t take much to see why Washington’s Randy Wittman is the guy many see as the coach on the hottest seat. His team is 2-6 but with playoff aspirations. His star player is writing playoffs on his shoes every game (and shooting 37.9 percent). His team’s owner Ted Leonsis has talked playoffs a lot and said injuries are not an excuse. Leonsis has been a loyal and patient owner, but at some point that is going to end because he wants to win, too. On top of it all the Wizards’ veteran players are frustrated with the younger ones.
Leonsis said his long-term goal is to turn the broadband network behind the Capitals, Wizards and Mystics into a production house with “the ability to show something in our arena, in real time, in all the televisions in the arena and outside on the signs and in those virtual screens on everyone’s site and everyone’s phone.” Leonsis would like to see it broadcasting concerts, and professional, college and high school sports games that take place at the Verizon Center. “We can look at all of that as ancillary opportunity for us,” Leonsis said. The Wizards and Capitals both have long-term rights deals with Comcast Sports Net. The Wizards have seven years left on their deal. The Capitals have three. Leonsis said that he envisions doing one of three things with those rights when they become available. “One would be that we would partner in a big way with Comcast,” Leonsis said. “I certainly believe we should have ownership in that network and a large voice in the programming of that network because we know our fans and our community extremely well. Or we would launch our own network, the Monumental Sports & Entertainment Network, or we’ll partner with some other sports network.”
Then downside of ownership: “In sports, there’s one winner and 29 losers. The assets, from a business standpoint (of the teams I own), have dramatically increased in value … but we haven’t won a Stanley Cup or NBA championship, so I’m a failure. That’s what this business is about. One winner and 29 losers.”
Ted Leonsis on his favorite part of ownership: “It’s the fan interaction. I’ve probably exchanged half a million emails. …I’m an extrovert by nature, and I get a lot of energy from that. It’s absolutely amazing. … People will come up to me in a mall or a restaurant and say, ‘Do you remember me? I sent you an email in 1999.’ The passion and enthusiasm fans entrust in you is like no other business.”